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Author Topic: Shortest shocks possible on C5?  (Read 1507 times)

kammersangerin

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Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« on: January 16, 2013, 12:32:41 AM »
As I continue to kick about adjustments, I was curious as to the lowest levels one has taken their shocks on the C5? I think I read somewhere someone put on 10 inch hagons and the originals are 12 inches? I know the bike was lowered quite a bit for me, and the stock seat only a bit, but I am wondering if it safely goes to 10 inches and also has the 28.5 inch bicycle seat, if we might not have a safe flat foot winner without changing the handling very much, or my relationship with the handlebars either.  We would have an actual height of about 26.5 inches which is lower than the s40 Suzuki, which I can stand up on - it is quite narrow.

Arizoni

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 04:05:52 AM »
I'll let the others answer your shock question but something to keep in mind is that lower isn't necessarily better.

With my stock height G5, I found that when making a hard turn turning right, the bottom of the foot brake lever could scrape the ground.
That's a disconcerting feeling because when hard metal parts start rubbing the ground not only does it make a loud grinding noise but it can "unload" or take the load off of the rear wheel a bit, reducing its traction.
That in turn can cause the rear tire to skid sideways which will really make a part of your anatomy grab the seat (and I'm not talking about your legs).   ;D
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

GlennF

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 06:35:33 AM »
An unsprung trials style seat should be the first option.

GSS

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 12:29:01 AM »
The stock shock is about 310-315mm long and some of us have put on 320mm Hagons (16kg) with nice results. I would go with a lower seat first. If needed, followed by no more than 25mm shorter than stock shocks. No advantage of anything lower and you will run into the issues noted by Arizoni.
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 12:47:25 AM »
An unsprung trials style seat should be the first option.

Or you can go with one of the very thin, narrow chopper seats like this:
http://www.jpcycles.com/product/802-990
http://www.jpcycles.com/product/308-553

Even with springs, these are much lower than the stock seat.  If you skip the springs and mount right to the frame, even lower.  You'll probably need to fab up your own mounting brackets.  Not too hard to do.

Scott

Tri750

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 03:23:39 AM »
A one inch shorter shock comes with the factory lowering kit. It is also softer sprung than the stock shocks. You may be able to ease in a shock 1.5 lower or even use a bit shorter tire. Like a 80 series instead of 90. The wiring under the rear fender must be watched so it won't be rubbed thru on a hard bump. If need be, relocate it. Yes, your cornering clearance will be reduced, but as you already noted in your other posts about lowering, you are not an aggressive rider. I urge you to "bite the bullet" and get your bike and do what you have to do to ride it comfortably. We have a local shoe shop that will resole boots with thicker material for inseam challenged riders. I'm sure many cities do. Jump in, the water's fine!
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kammersangerin

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 10:16:56 PM »
Thanks everyone so much for responding. Couldn't get back sooner because I was in the middle of a family crisis, and we have to think about our priorities. I think my biggest fear about biting the bullet is that I have already spent a good deal of money trying to make something work that just wasn't going to. The RE definitely comes closer, but I want to get it right this time because I can't afford not to. Too much added to raised shoes worries me, though I tend to ride with thick soled shoes or boots anyways. My trial with the expensive super low narrow seat was that it was useless for people who are truly inseam challenged. If they need an inch maybe, but the claim that you gain three inches is bosch, because of where it sits you. Your legs will be crushed against the battery and storage containers and poke them out, gaining very little. Lower the stock seat one inch and your legs are fine. So a wider solo seat like the 28 inch one might be the solution by not being quite as low, combined with the lowered shocks. Again, 28 inches on flat seat that gets me down to 26.5 inches with lowered shocks should get me right where I need to be. Has anyone tried putting a solo seat right on the frame of a C5?

Thanks again.

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 10:50:32 PM »

Arizoni

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 11:03:44 PM »
I think with the seat hard mounted to the frame as the one in your link is could bring back some truly vintage motorcycling.

Does anyone remember the "kidney belts" worn back in the days of the hardtails?
Even with their sprung seats on the hardtails they were needed.  ;D

Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 12:43:27 AM »
Nah.  B5 and G5 have no springs for the seat, they're fine.

Scott

GlennF

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 03:05:25 AM »
Sprung seats date back to rigid frames. They are definitely not essential with a swingarm rear end.

My B5 ...


mattsz

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 11:37:02 AM »
Your mileage may vary (mine does!)... but I'm a skinny lightweight, with OEM rear shocks, and I must beg to differ!  I'm sure it was better than with no shocks, but my unsprung factory seat pounded my back into submission for sure. My sprung solo seat saved my bacon.

Essential?  Perhaps not, only in that I'd probably still be riding the bike with the original seat.  But I'm much happier now...

kammersangerin

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 03:44:32 PM »
Thanks for finding that picture Scotty. I kind of wondered about that from what I could see previously. I do worry that getting that low doesn't get you as much as you like because it did push my legs out a bit,. but perhaps not on this one. It can be done though, I think that's the important thing.

The comment on the hardness of the ride is valid. I did test the bike over a rough bit of asphalt that was the road where the dealer was. I found that it smacked me pretty hard, with the Hagons, and the front oil, but the dealer kept telling me how mushy it handled with the kit from Nfield for lowering. It does look like they went lower than nfield, but I kept telling them at 115 lbs and 40 lbs of gear at the most, I am simply not that much on a set of springs. In spite of the smaller wheels, the Vespa handles it very well.

Wonder how tall that bloke was that lowered the seat and their final feeling on it?

The_Rigger

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 05:29:23 PM »
Something else to ponder:  Lowering the ass-end of the bike without paying any attention to the front end will reduce your ability to adjust the headlamp any lower, and in factory trim many bikes' headlamps are already aimed too high at the bottom end of their travel.

Just sayin'...
-Dave
2012 C5 Special
Central Michigan, USA (when I'm not working somewhere else)

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Shortest shocks possible on C5?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2013, 06:04:02 PM »
Hagons are easy to swap springs on, and if you buy them from Dave Quinn Motorcycles they'll do two springs swaps for free.  They also seem pretty good at getting it right the first time.  Several people here have ordered from them including me.

Scott